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Thursday, Jan 26, 2023
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Downturn Brings Attitude Change

We’ve been several months into this economic downturn now. It’s causing great hardship for many people and businesses. As a casual observer of stuff, both business and otherwise, I’m noticing a lot of different things some of it contradictory to what you would expect in an economic downturn. Here are some observations, contradictory or not: – People are driving bigger cars again. – Driving is more aggressive. – Customer service is better. – I’m getting fewer phone calls. – The callers who do call me are more realistic when asking for coverage in the Business Journal. – There’s too much talk about the economic downturn when companies are advertising their products. – I visited a Westfield mall the other day and it was packed with shoppers. Didn’t take an official survey as to whether anyone was buying anything. – Some industries are doing fine. – There is a change in expectations among businesspeople and people in general. But despite that, some people still don’t get it that times have changed. – There’s very little talk about real estate commercial or residential. – Major news about the economy, much of it bad, isn’t very surprising to people anymore. They’re jaded, numb or both. – Younger generations have become nicer. They may realize we’re all in this together. – Business owners are getting a little nervous about their image. We recently completed a call for nominations for our Best Places to Work Awards and Santa Clarita Business Leadership Awards. During that process, a few companies and executives said they didn’t want to be considered for any honors. Business has been a little soft for some of them and a few have either had hiring freezes or have laid off a couple people. They said they’d talk to us next year. I told them that just because things are soft due to general economic forces that they may not have any control over that doesn’t mean that theirs is a bad place to work. They actually may be showing that they are good businesspeople by holding the line on costs. But I can understand where they’re coming from. As with anything in this very complicated world, nothing is easy nor is it clear cut. Businesspeople are just trying to do the best they can to ride it out. As for my above observations, I don’t know what it all means. If I figure it out, I’ll write a book or set up a Web site and make a million dollars. A lot of good is going to come out of all these problems like how people treat each other and how we go about being more efficient in our businesses and our lives. Then there are the jerks who won’t take anything from it. Like the self-absorbed idiot who wouldn’t let me take my turn merging onto the freeway ramp this morning. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at editor@sfvbj.com .

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